HP: Android Based Netbook
Hewlett-Packard has confirmed it is considering Google's Android OS as a possible alternative to Windows in some of its upcoming Netbook computers. HP stressed that it was still only testing Android, an OS based on the open-source Linux kernel. It has assigned engineers to the task but has made no decision yet whether to offer Android in products, said HP spokeswoman Marlene Somsak.
Analysts said the move would allow HP to develop a low-cost netbook optimized for wireless networks that provides access to Web-based services, but others questioned whether the Google software is ready for such a task.
Android was designed for mobile phones but has been seen by some others besides HP as a potential OS for netbooks. Some enthusiasts have been testing Android on netbooks such as Asustek's Eee PC, and chip makers such as Qualcomm and Freescale hope to bring Android to netbooks running on their Arm-based chips.
There could be a chance for hardware makers to offer lower-priced computers that those running Windows. Because there're no license fees for Android. There may be an upside for Android if HP were to make it work in netbooks. HP's heft as the world's largest PC maker would widen Android's use, Daoud said. It could see success in emerging markets like India and China, where Linux adoption is growing.
HP considers the availability of Android an important factor. It wants as many options as possible in order to offer more selection to the consumer, said Somsak.